I have been active in opposing boycotts of Israeli academe and still oppose it as a mistaken direction by those who wish initially to condemn the occupation and then to arouse Israeli academics to stand up and do the same. And whilst I applaud the calls for academic freedom to be reflected in freedom of speech in our society, I am uncomfortable with Israeli academics supporting a boycott of their own academe. But in a sense I cannot blame them. Since Ariel College was granted university status in an act of crass idiocy by our Defence Minister, attempts to fight the academic boycott have been compromised. Ariel College exists in a West Bank settlement, in the occupation, and is illegal. Granting its college university status is an attempt to legitimise both college and settlement. How can this work with those who wish to defend Israeli academe from boycott, but oppose Ariel?
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